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MEI Online: Control & Instrumentation: Latest News: June 27th 2006


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:: Mintek Releases Improved StarCS Process Control Platform

Mintek has formally released its new StarCS Version 6.0 advanced process control platform.

"Like its predecessor, PlantStar, the latest StarCS is a platform primarily for implementing Mintek’s Star control systems, MillStar, FloatStar, FurnStar and LeachStar," explained Edgar King, chief engineer of Mintek’s Measurement and Control (MAC) division and head of the StarCS development team. “The upgrade to StarCS offers all of PlantStar’s existing functionality, simultaneously introducing a number of additional improvements."

The interface is very similar in appearance with the following new features and benefits:

  • Faster reading of process data and writing values of manipulated variables back to the PLC;
  • A major upgrade to the trending module, which is more robust and flexible. It includes new features like the selection of groups of trends, automatic, intelligent selection of start and end times, and retrieval of data from the Data Historian and legends.
  • The StarCS Data Historian, the management information system of StarCS, has been completely upgraded and replaces mInfoStar of the previous system. The Data Historian will no longer exist as a separate module, but has been fully integrated into StarCS, which is much more flexible and robust.
  • Enhancement of the interface and mimic controls, including a date/time picker control, use of normal buttons as radio buttons, and the display of different images as different states for the LED Control.
  • A number of new control modules are available, including on-line process calculators and estimators. An upgrade has also been made to the Advanced Algorithms module.

"Mintek is currently supporting more than hundred APC installations worldwide, the largest concentration of which is on the African continent," said Dr Dave Hulbert, manager of Mintek’s Measurement and Control Division. "Our Star Control System (StarCS) is a widely applicable software platform with modules aimed specifically at metallurgical processes. Mintek has developed specific solutions on the StarCS platform to address typical mineral-processing control challenges in the areas of milling (MillStar), flotation (FloatStar), furnaces (FurnStar) and leaching (LeachStar)."

Mintek has installed its APC systems in about fifteen countries and has an overseas office in Australia.




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